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As Historians...

Children will develop the skills to:

  • Understand the history of Britain as a chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world:
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.


At St Bernadette’s we continuously strive to create an active, enriched and enjoyable curriculum,  where the children develop their historical knowledge and skills as they move through the school. We are committed to giving all our children every opportunity to achieve the highest of standards in all areas of the curriculum. History is a highly valued subject with most topics taught having a strong history focus. 

The New National Curriculum (2014) Purpose of Study states the importance of a high-quality history education. At St Bernadette’s we believe history lessons help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Inspiring pupil’s curiosity to know more about the past and equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

Subject Structure

The children will study a range of time periods within history focused topics as they move through the school. History topics are taught in alternation with geography topics. The table below highlights the topics covered within each year group.

topipc overview

To see the Curriculum Maps for each year group click here

Across the whole school, there are four key historical learning intentions that the children will explore over the course of their education at St Bernadette's:

  • To investigate and interpret the past.
  • To build an overview of world history.
  • To understand chronology.
  • To communicate historically.

As they develop these skills in a range of contexts, so too will they develop the ability to be independent learners, using the key historical skills they have gained to analyse, question and compare sources of evidence to form their own judgements about the past.


The children take part in a wealth of enrichment activities, such as; topic celebration days, visitor talks, class assemblies and a range of class trips. This provides stimulating and engaging opportunities for children, allowing them to be fully immersed in their learning.

We are extremely lucky to be based in Brighton with a wide range of historical and cultural opportunities at our finger tips.  This year’s history trips include: The Brighton Fishing Museum, Ditchling Museum, Booth Museum of Natural History, Fishbourne Palace, Brighton Museum, The Royal Pavilion and Arundel Castle. Workshops also take place within school, many of which have a cross-curricular link, for example our recent medieval dance and drama workshop. Visitor talks regularly take place, captivating the children by sharing their first-hand experiences and expertise. We regularly report on our enrichment activities in the newsletter so do have a look each week and see what’s been going on!

Celts - V - Romans

Year 1 and Year 3 recently paired up to recreate The Celts versus The Romans! They shared their learning with one another and then they all enjoyed a themed feast.

Arundel Castle

Year 2 had a fantastic day at Arundel Castle. The children had a guided tour and they were able to identify the various features of the castle. They even found the dungeon! The children also had the chance to dress as people who would have lived or worked in the castle during the medieval period.

Fishbourne Roman Palace

Year 3 visited the Roman Palace in Fishbourne and had the chance to dress up and handle lots of real artefacts.

Preston Manor

Year 5 visited Preson Manor in role as Victorian children. The children were put straight to work to experience what it would have been like to have lived and worked in the manor house. The rules of the house were very strict, even Mrs Andrews was told off!! Preston Manor is situated very close to our school therefore the children were extremely excited to explore this historical building which is right on our doorstep. 

Anglo-Saxon Day

Year 4 took part in a range of activities as part of their Anglo-Saxon topic day. They started their day with an assembly where they performed the Legend of Beowulf play and recited kennings. They then took part in dyeing wool, baking spiced honey cakes, making a ship burial and being archaeologists at Sutton Hor.

Evacuee Day

Year 5 recently took part in an Evacuee Day at school.  The day involved many engaging activities including 'black out' training, playing traditional games from the period, re-enacting travelling on a train and meeting the new 'parents', making a carrot cake using a ration recipe and letter writing.

Evacuee day